“The Nice House On The Lake” – Book Three
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray
Welcome to The Nice House On The Lake #3. The Earth is dead. The only known survivors have been gathered together at an idyllic countryside location, seemingly by one of the Earth’s destroyers; a man(?) who had previously been a friend to all of them. The occupants of the house are all going through completely different series of emotional states, and their benefactor is watching.
This series is messing with my head. James Tynion has been one of my favorite writers for close to a decade now, and this title is a prime example of why. The themes and premise are simply stellar, and every single issue makes me think. Are our friends really our friends? When someone asks us to check in on a mutual acquaintance, are they doing that for the acquaintance’s sake, for our benefit, or their own? Could every simple request actually be a subtle manipulation?
Are people who say they care just pulling invisible strings? When does being secure become being sequestered? How does a life in paradise become life in prison? Is everything we’ve always believed to be true just one gigantic lie?
Can you believe that all of this is coming from the pages of a comic book? This is some of the best psychological horror I’ve ever read, and some of the finest storytelling.
Not only are the words and themes coming out of these pages blowing my mind, the visuals by Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Jordie Bellaire, and Deron Bennett (AndWorld Design) are doing the same. This title doesn’t deliver cosmic battles, action-packed fisticuffs, or thrilling chases… no. What it does give us are chills, pause for thought, and concern for those around us and the world we all share. The art doesn’t contain any square-jawed heroes or slick spacecraft; but real people, in realistic environments, trying to live out ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances.
Just three issues in and I can already see growth from the characters. The way each one has either accepted their strange situation, is only just starting to, or even completely refusing to, is brilliant. This series has a large cast, but already some individuals are starting to stand out from the crowd.
This title is scaring me. Maybe that’s not actually a negative though, as I’m sure that’s exactly what this amazing creative team actually intended.
The Nice House On The Lake #3 is a brilliant piece of work. Tynion is slowly pulling us between different stages of grief, and multiple doorways of terror. Álvaro, Jordie, and Deron are creating art that makes me shake my head in awe and admiration, while also making me shiver.
I’ve never read a comic like this before, and am loving every minute.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment